Homer Hickham has very successfully mined his family history in his writings.  Rocket Boys told the story of his youth in Coalwood, West Virginia.  Carrying Albert Home takes the reader along when Homer’s parents drove from West Virginia to Orlando, Florida to release Albert, an alligator, into his natural habitat.  Albert had been a wedding present to Elsie and Homer. Sr. from Buddy Ebsen (of Beverly Hillbillies fame).  When Elsie had previously visited Florida she had spent time with Buddy and he became a standard that all men, including her husband, failed to meet.  This trip to Florida with Albert in a bathtub in the back seat was a real test of their marriage.  Parts of the novel are hilarious, parts are historical, and it resolved their marriage.  You will be left to wonder which parts of the story are true-life and which are embroidered with the author’s imagination.  A trip from West Virginia to Florida with an alligator in the back seat would be exciting enough without all the unusual characters they supposedly met along the way.

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